1887

Abstract

Most cyanobacteria use a single type of cyanophycin synthetase, CphA1, to synthesize the nitrogen-rich polymer cyanophycin. The genomes of many N-fixing cyanobacteria contain an additional gene that encodes a second type of cyanophycin synthetase, CphA2. The potential function of this enzyme has been debated due to its reduced size and the lack of one of the two ATP-binding sites that are present in CphA1. Here, we analysed CphA2 from ATCC 29413 and sp. PCC 7425. We found that CphA2 polymerized the dipeptide β-aspartyl-arginine to form cyanophycin. Thus, CphA2 represents a novel type of cyanophycin synthetase. A disruption mutant of was generated. Growth of this mutant was impaired under high-light conditions and nitrogen deprivation, suggesting that CphA2 plays an important role in nitrogen metabolism under N-fixing conditions. Electron micrographs revealed that the mutant had fewer cyanophycin granules, but no alteration in the distribution of granules in its cells was observed. Localization of CphA2 by immunogold electron microscopy demonstrated that the enzyme is attached to cyanophycin granules. Expression of CphA1 and CphA2 was examined in WT and mutant cells. Whilst the CphA1 level increased upon nitrogen deprivation, the CphA2 level remained nearly constant.

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2016-03-01
2020-01-17
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